Neighbours’ Mischa Barton talks Reece Sinclair’s true identity

As Neighbours reveals the true identity of new character Reece Sinclair, Mischa Barton talks to us about the real reason she’s come to Erinsborough, and her battles with Paul Robinson.

Today’s episode of Neighbours: A New Chapter has revealed that Reece – who has been going under the pseudonym Reece Peters – is actually Reece Sinclair, a member of the powerful family which bought Terese’s (Rebekah Elmaloglou) shares in Lassiters.

This may not come as a huge surprise to fans, with the surname of Mischa Barton’s character having been revealed back in May, but it was certainly a surprise to Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis), who was optimistic that the Sinclair family would remain entirely silent partners. 

A few days before Neighbours returned to screens, Back to the Bay, along with other media, chatted to Mischa Barton about what’s in store.

Mischa explained that Reece isn’t solely in Erinsborough for business, but is using the trip as an opportunity to relax: “It’s a bit of both. I mean, she definitely was written so that, y’know, she has never really had a chance to take a break from work and get away from her family.

“That goes much further into depth later on but she’s never had a chance to live a normal life and not be under her father’s strict guidance.”

The revelation that Reece is a Sinclair is set to hit Paul hard, and in upcoming episodes the Lassiters boss will do his best to impress the rich businesswoman.

Ray Messner / Amazon Freevee

However, things are set to go south, with a recent promo teasing that Paul tells Reece: “I do not have to answer to you, and I never, ever will”.

Mischa explains that Paul feels threatened by Reece’s arrival, and that it’ll cause a lot of drama in the coming weeks:

“Well, y’know, Paul always feels threatened, but he immediately feels extremely threatened by the fact he realises that I have more to do with the actual Lassiters money side of things and what that really means for him.

“We start arguing pretty quickly after that. So yeah, that’s where a lot of the drama ensues from.”

An earlier Neighbours promo showed Reece trying to ignore Paul

Reece is expected to stick around in Erinsborough for around three months, and there are still secrets yet to come out.

“We then find out that she’s really in Australia because of her sister, and there’s a lot going on there, so she’s not been completely honest about that,” Mischa explains.

“But she’s resentful towards her family, in a strange way, [which] she realises when she gets away from them, and that kind of drives why she wants to have some fun and relax.

“She wakes up and realises that she’s not been doing what she’s supposed to be doing.”

Amazon Freevee / Ray Messner

The news of Reece’s true identity was also a shock for Byron Stone, played by Xavier Molyneux. Byron is now working at Lassiters, and struck up a flirty relationship with Reece soon after she checked into the hotel.

Byron knows that it’s risky enough to be sneaking around with a guest, let alone one with shares in the hotel! Just how their relationship will progress now that he knows Reece’s true identity remains to be seen.

Amazon Freevee / Ray Messner

Mischa also tells us what it was like coming onto the set of Neighbours, describing it as a family:

“Yeah, everyone was really lovely to me, Stefan [Dennis] especially because Steffie I do a lot of stuff together and we have a very combative relationship in general on the show. And he’s a veteran, obviously, so he was very good at explaining things to me and taking me round.

“But so was the whole crew actually, they were really lovely and they made sure that they kind of taught me as quickly as possible how it works, [because] it’s not something I’m used to.

“It’s multi-camera, you never really know sometimes what’s going on; it’s an interesting process, so I was very grateful to the crew for how amazing they were.

“They quickly realised that it was something quite foreign to me. [Tim Kano, who plays Leo Tanaka], we became good friends, and everybody was really nice.”

“They really are like a family, it’s very sweet to watch. It was very nice to watch them get back together.”

Amazon Freevee

Mischa also explained how Neighbours is so different to the shows she’s worked on previously, with the pressure of two crews working simultaneously, and very little time to shoot each scene:

“Oh, it’s quite a different beast. There’s two crews, and so everybody’s working between the different stages, so even if you’re off doing [something], there’s people doing location shoots and then there’s people doing stuff at the studio.

“And also just in terms of takes – if you get a second take, sometimes that’s really lucky! It’s slotted down to such finite timeslots for each scene and it’s sometimes [just] 30 minutes for a whole scene, and that includes everything in the scene, so that all needs to be wrapped up!”

When things go wrong, the tight schedules mean that scenes sometimes get cut rather than the cast going back to re-do them.

“It’s such a smooth-running machine that there’s no coming back,” Mischa explains. “I remember that we had a problem one day, and it was like, ‘this isn’t good,’ because we’re now 10 scenes down, so they have to cut them.

“You can’t go back and fix it, it’s like ‘nope, that’s gone now.’

“We had a very strange sound problem one day which nobody could understand why it stopped working. It was like, oh, no, well I guess none of that is going to stay in then, we’re just going to have to forget that whole part.”

Reece’s relationship with Byron is set to continue

Asked if she was already aware of Neighbours and the obsessive fandom, Mischa said:

“A little bit, yes. It probably should have been even more intimidating,” she laughs. “But you have to take these things in stride.

“I mean, I was aware because I am actually English originally, so like I am more aware than most Americans as to how obsessive people get over it, but I’m still constantly surprised by how intense their fans are compared to other specific shows like this.

“Yeah, they do have a hardcore fanbase! It’s lovely to watch, it’s very cool.”

New episodes of Neighbours air Monday–Thursday on Network 10 and 10 Peach in Australia, and on Amazon Freevee in the UK.

Here are the Neighbours spoilers for upcoming episodes:

Thursday 21st September (Episode 4 / 8907)

Karl and Susan’s relationship is tested after a shock admission.

The truth behind the identity of hotel guest, Reece, sends ripples through the community.

While Cara and Remi navigate their future, JJ is focused on something, or someone, much closer to home.

For spoilers for the next three weeks, check out our dedicated Neighbours Spoilers page.

Monday 25th September (Episode 5 / 8908)

The Kennedys find themselves at a crossroads.

After much consideration, Toadie makes a tough decision that will impact his entire family.

Mackenzie makes a big call on her personal life.

JJ’s digging takes an unexpected turn.

Tuesday 26th September (Episode 6 / 8909)

Terese’s business venture encounters a roadblock, causing repercussions in her personal life.

yron struggles with relationships and the truth of his past.

Mackenzie pushes herself out of her comfort zone.

Karl grows increasingly worried for the well-being of an old friend.

Wednesday 27th September (Episode 7 / 8910)

Harold makes a devastating admission.

Paul conjures up an elaborate plan to impress his new VIP guest.

Mike has an important proposal to make.

Terese discovers the truth of secrets that are very close to home.

Thursday 28th September (Episode 8 / 8911)

Nell makes a shameful admission that rocks her family.

Cara and Remi face the consequences of poor communication.

JJ’s stealthy mission amps up, as he gets closer to the truth.

Jane and Mike’s plans stall as secrets simmer beneath the surface.

For spoilers for the next three weeks, check out our dedicated Neighbours Spoilers page.